Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Secretary Annabelle T. Abaya said that peace initiatives emanating from the community level are those that work best in eradicating insurgency, citing the success of Bohol as a good example.
Abaya made the remark after the recent signing of a Memorandum of Agreement between the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) and the Department of Interior and Local Governments (DILG) on the implementation of the Sorsogon Initiatives to bring about sanctuaries of peace and development in the province held at the Oakwood Premier in Ortigas Center, Pasig City.
The MoA signatories were Abaya in behalf of OPAPP, DILG Secretary Ronaldo V. Puno who was represented by DILG Undersecretary Melchor Rosales; Spanish Ambassador Luis Arias-Romero on behalf of the Spanish government; Sorsogon Gov. Sally Lee; Bishop Arturo Bastes of the Archdiocese of Sorsogon; and Atty. Loida Nicolas-Lewis, co-convenor of the Sorsogon Alliance for Peace and Development.
The province of Sorsogon is one of the few remaining areas in the country where communist insurgency is active but which the government is dealing with through peace talks initiated by the local people themselves.
The Spanish government has allocated P20 million to finance various peace projects to support the Sorsogon Initiative.
“I would like to express my great thanks to the Spanish Government for the assistance they are giving us, not just now in this big project but also the smaller projects that led to this,” Abaya said.
She also cited the efforts by the local stakeholder group in Sorsogon for working together with the OPAPP.
by: By FRANCIS T. WAKEFIELD